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Edward V – A Brief Biography 

November 2, 1470

“Elizabeth Woodville, to whom Heaven had granted only daughters in the years of her haughty prosperity, gave birth to a son in the Sanctuary (of Westminster Abbey),” his father Edward IV having been deposed and escaped to Flanders. Though it is said the child was christened without pomp, the ceremony took place in Westminster Abbey with the abbot and prior of Westminster for godfathers and Lady Scrope for godmother.  The advent of Edward IV’s son into the world… was hailed as a happy omen by those whose hearts clung to the absent father (Fabyan, London Chronicles, Croyland Chronicles).” Cora Scofield, The Life and Reign of Edward IV.

Edward’s eldest sister Elizabeth (age 4 1/2) held the chrism during his baptism.  Nancy Lenz Harvey, Elizabeth of York

Bad Omens and Birth Order

“The likelihood of Edward ever becoming king seemed doomed from the start.  Although his father Edward IV was a popular king, his mother Elizabeth Woodville was not so universally liked.  Possibly had Edward been their first-born, he might have been old enough to take control himself at the time of his father’s sudden and unexpected death.  His eldest sister Elizabeth was then 17, and at that age Edward could have assumed royal authority.  But he was his father’s fourth child, and was born at the lowest ebb in Edward IV’s reign, when his father had fled England and Elizabeth had sought sanctuary in Westminster Abbey…Nevertheless, the child had a good education and a regal bearing and may, in due course, have made a fine king.”   Mike Ashley, British Kings and Queens.

A picture that is a part of a panel of portraits commissioned by Oliver King in St. George’s Chapel,<br />
Windsor, depicting the royal personages<br />
(Edward of Lancaster, Edward IV, Edward V, and Henry VII) whom he had served as secretary.

(The picture above is part of a panel of portraits commissioned by Oliver King in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, depicting the royal personages (Edward of Lancaster, Edward IV, Edward V, and Henry VII) whom he had served as secretary.  Therefore, it is a contemporary portrait.  The crown poised over Edward’s head signifies the fact that he was never crowned.)

April 11, 1471

“(Having returned from exile and arrived in London, )Edward went to Westminster Abbey and said prayers before having the Archbishop of Canterbury touch the crown to his head. He then entered the sanctuary to greet the queen, his daughters, and his new son:” Cora Scofield, The Life and Reign of Edward IV.

“The King comforted the queen and other ladies eke (also),
His sweet babes full tenderly he did kiss;
The young prince he beheld and in his arms did bear,
Thus his bale turned him to bliss;
After sorrow joy the course of this world is,
The sight of his babies released part of his woe,
Thus the will of God in everything is due.”from “The Arrival of Edward IV”

June 26, 1471

Eight-month old Edward is made Prince of Wales.

July 3, 1471

“Parliament, the temporal and spiritual lords took an oath recognizing baby Edward as the heir to ‘the Crowns and Realms of England and of France, and Lordship of Ireland.’ Officers were then appointed to the baby Prince’s household. Thomas Millyng, the Abbot of Westminster, who was already the baby’s godfather, was made Chancellor to the Prince; Lord Dacre was made Steward; and Thomas Vaughan was made Chamberlain. Edward was not only made Prince of Wales, but was made Duke of Cornwall and Earl of Chester, as well. Then the three men named above, the Queen Elizabeth Woodville, George of Clarence, Richard of Gloucester, Anthony Woodville, William Hastings, John Alcock, and others were chosen to administer the Prince’s affairs until he reached his majority.” Cora Scofield, The Life and Reign of King Edward IV

September 1472

Louis de Grutheuse, Governor of Holland and host to Edward IV during his exile, visits England and is ceremoniously treated by the King, the Queen, and the court. He is made Earl of Winchester, and is formally introduced to the little Prince.


Edward is installed in his own household at Ludlow Castle. His maternal uncle Anthony Woodville, the Earl Rivers, is appointed his Governor; Lord Richard Grey, Edward’s half-brother is his Treasurer, and Thomas Vaughan remains his Chamberlain.

Edward begins his formal education, under the strict guidance of rules laid down by his father King Edward IV.

On August 17, Edward’s younger brother Richard, the Duke of York, is born in Shrewsbury.

April 28, 1474

Three-year old Edward visits Coventry for the first time, probably in the company of his mother, and is treated to welcoming gifts and an elaborate pageant in his honor.


Four-year old Edward is brought to London to serve as nominal head of the government while his Father Edward IV and the men of the realm go to the Continent to campaign against the French. Queen Elizabeth Woodville is made Regent in the King’s absence.

November 9, 1477

Edward, the Prince of Wales, hosts a banquet at Westminster.  The lords present pay homage to the young prince.

November 18, 1477

Anthony Woodville’s book, “The Sayings of Philosophers,” is published by William Caxton. It is the first book printed in England. Anthony formally presents the book to Edward IV, Queen Elizabeth Woodville, and Edward, Prince of Wales.

January 15, 1478

Four-year old Richard, Duke of York, is married to five-year old Anne Mowbray, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. His brother and sisters are present at the wedding.

May 1481

Edward IV and Edward visit Sandwich to view the royal fleet.  They stop at Canterbury Cathedral.

May 23, 1482

Edward is chief mourner at his 14-year old sister Mary’s funeral.

Christmas 1482

Edward joins his family at Westminster for the holidays.

April 9, 1483

Edward IV dies in London.

April 11, 1483

Edward is proclaimed Edward V in London.

April 24, 1483

Edward leaves Ludlow Castle with his household officers and a 2,000-man escort to go to London.

April 30, 1483

Edward is intercepted by his paternal uncle Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, and by his uncle through marriage, Henry Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham.  The Dukes capture Edward and arrest his household officers.

May 4, 1483

Edward V enters London, escorted by Richard and Buckingham and their men.  The Mayor of London, the Aldermen, and 500 leading citizens dressed in velvet greet him.  He is entertained at a banquet held in his honor at Hornsby Park.

Mid-May 1483

Edward V is lodged in the royal apartments of the Tower of London.

June 13, 1483

William Hastings, the Chamberlain and best friend of Edward IV and the greatest supporter of Edward V, is ambushed and executed in the Tower of London.

These other supporters of Edward V are arrested:  Thomas Stanley; Thomas Rotherham, the Bishop of York; John Morton, the Bishop of Ely; Oliver King, secretary to Edward V and former secretary to Edward IV; Jane Shore, beloved mistress of Edward IV; and John Forster.

June 16, 1483

Richard, the 9-year old Duke of York, is forced from the Sanctuary of Westminster Abbey and is taken to join his elder brother in the Tower of London.

June 22, 1483

Edward V’s coronation day is postponed as Richard’s and Buckingham’s mouthpieces advance allegations that he is illegitimate and unable to inherit the throne.

June 25, 1483

Edward V is formally deposed.  His household officers are executed at Pontefract Castle.

June 26, 1483

Richard assumes the kingship as Richard III.

July 6, 1483

Richard III is crowned in London.


Edward and his brother Richard are withdrawn to more secure confinement within the Tower of London.  Their attendants are dismissed.

Summer 1483

Edward V and his brother Richard are most likely assassinated in the Tower of London.  There is no further record of them.